A water filter cap from a 4-inch pipe burst in the Shepherd Union mechanical room Thursday, flooding the bowling alley and the KWCR radio station with water reaching all the way to the atrium.
Shawna Rowley, business service director, said Utah Disaster was called immediately and gave an arrival time of 30 minutes.
“Our objective right now is to prevent further damage and clean up what we can,” Rowley said. “They have isolated the leak, and the water has been restored without a complete water shutoff.”
Associate Vice President of Facilities and Campus Planning Kevin Hansen said facilities employees were cleaning and washing the filter yesterday, and when they reconnected the cap it didn’t seal properly, which caused pressure to build up. When the cap burst, it released water at 120 pounds of pressure.
Facilities is bringing in equipment to try and dry out the carpet, but Utah Disaster will have to determine the seriousness of the damage.
“There is a high possibility that the water has gotten into the walls,” Hansen said. “If that’s the case we might have to take the sheetrock off the bottom of the damaged walls to avoid mold, so we are continuing that investigation.”
Kaden Robinson, a high school student attending the DECA conference at Weber State, said the water poured in like a small river. “We were just sitting there bowling and it just poured in like crazy,” he said. “We turned around and it looked like it was leaking under the door.”
Multiple students from Evanston High grabbed mops and helped move furniture to save it from water damage.
“I went to move a table,” said Taylor Lovatl, an Evanston High school student and member of DECA. “I fell flat on my face and dropped my friend’s phone.”
KWCR student staff said they were able to save their equipment from the incoming water before it was damaged, but all equipment will still need to be evaluated.
“We are still looking into things, but there seems to be an act of God that directed the water completely around our engineering room and our production room,” JP Ortiz, KWCR general manager, said. “If those two places had not been dry we would have been in serious trouble and probably would have been down for a while, and we would have been out quite a bit of equipment.”
Eric Harvey, KWCR adviser, said the damage thus far is minimal, but they are still assessing the situation.
“We’re still on the air; we didn’t even have an interruption in the program. It appears like it was a nice dramatic way to celebrate the 50th year anniversary,” Harvey said. “It’s just one of those freak things you can’t prepare for. I’m really proud of all my employees for snapping to, moving stuff out of the way and am grateful we’re still on the air.”
According to Fred Meaders, an official on the scene, it’s too early to tell if the bowling alley will suffer any permanent damage.
“We’re more concerned about the seams (of the wood paneling),” said Dustin Stump, a student cleaning the bowling alley. “For the most part, we were able to get on it pretty fast. When the wood starts to dry out we will know more.”